Review IPS Disability Quota Immunity, 2 Other Forces: SC to Central Government

The Supreme Court has asked the Center to reconsider the blanket exemption granted to the Indian Police Service (IPS), DANIPS and IRPFS from the obligation to reserve positions for persons with disabilities under the Disability Act 2016. rights of people with disabilities. .

The high court order came after the government, in an affidavit, said people with a benchmark disability – a disability of more than 40 per cent – are not considered for any position in the three services , given the nature of their work.

Apart from IPS, Delhi NCT, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep Police Service, Daman and Diu and Dadra and Nagar Haveli (DANIPS) and Indian Railways Protection Force Service (IRFPS) are also exempt from making such a reservation.

During the May 19 hearing of the case, Attorney General KK Venugopal also expressed the view that “the affidavit may need a makeover”.

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The court was seized of a request from the National Platform for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which had challenged the notification of the Directorate for the Promotion of Persons with Disabilities (DEPWD), under the Ministry of Social Justice and Promotion , granting an exemption from reserving positions for Persons with a reference disability in the three departments.

The DEPWD is the competent authority to exempt any central government post or service from the scope of reservation under the Act.

Requests from central administration establishments requesting a derogation from the scope of the law are examined by an interministerial committee (CDI), chaired by the co-secretary of the department, which was set up on August 16, 2017.

Upon hearing the case, an SC bench presided over by Judge AM Khanwilkar accepted Lead Counsel Arvind Datar’s argument that IDC, at its August 13, 2021 meeting to discuss the MHA’s request for an exemption reservations, did not discuss all categories of disability, “including [those] on the feasibility of an appointment to non-combat posts”.

“In such a situation, it is appropriate for the Committee to reconsider the matter,” the court said. “In doing so, it must take into account the recommendations made by the experts as well as the additional note to be provided by the applicant.”

What the law says

Article 33 of the law obliges the government to identify the positions that can be occupied by various categories of persons with reference disabilities. Section 34(1) of the law provides for the reservation of at least 4% of government jobs to identified categories of persons with a benchmark disability — persons with a disability of 40% or more.

On March 25, 2022, the SC had allowed candidates with physical disabilities, who passed the Civil Service Written Examination, to provisionally apply for tri-service selection and declared that their applications could be considered, subject to the outcome of the case.

In an affidavit subsequently filed in court, the Center pointed out that “the IPS/DANIPS/IRPFS proposal for exemption was extensively discussed at the level” of the “Comité interministériel…Comité d’experts constituted by the Ministry of Interior (MHA) and by the Director General of Health Services (DGHS)”. The April 21 affidavit stated: “It should be noted that IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS deal with security establishments It is therefore essential to maintain the highest level of physical and mental alertness at all times”.

He said the IDC first discussed the MHA’s exemption request in April 2018 and advised him to reconsider it in light of the reservation benefit being extended to new categories of people with baseline disabilities such as specific learning disabilities, acid attacks. victims, etc.

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The MHA again asked to exempt IPS from the scope of the law “in the best interests of the service”, describing the duties and functions of officers and the preparation for the performance of their duties through training rigorous physical training provided at the Sardar Vallabhai Patel National Police Academy (SVPNPA). But the ministry has again been urged to review it and consider creating positions for acid attack victims.

An internal expert panel set up by the MHA, however, said this was ‘undesirable’ given the long-term medical effects vis-à-vis the expected role of officers.

The MHA submitted a new request, which was discussed by IDC. The committee then recommended that the department decide on this in consolation with the Ministry of Health and Family.

Following this, the DGHS accepted the MHA’s request, after which the IDC discussed it again and agreed to exempt the IPS, DANIPS and IRPFS positions from the scope of the reservation for people with disabilities. reference under the law.

The government affidavit said that a “person with a reference disability will not be able to do full justice to the role and responsibilities assigned to an IPS officer. As heads of the civilian and central armed forces, IPS/DANIPS officers deal with matters of public order and security that impinge on the internal security of the country, hence infirmity in the exercise of these functions can lead to and will result in avoidable loss of life and property. Similarly, such a reserve would not be acceptable to other ranks of the Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) and most state police units due to operational requirements and such individuals, if appointed to the IPS, would find themselves in a serious direction. deficit situation.

He said that “even for victims of acid attacks amounting to impairment of certain body parts or for people with specific learning disabilities, it may not be helpful in carrying out the daily work of the police which requires great precision and vigilance”.

The Centre’s affidavit stated: “The function of an IPS/DANIPS agent is not limited to the maintenance of order only, but [they] are also regularly required to manage field work and sensitive work in adverse climatic conditions and difficult geographical terrain. Considering the nature of the responsibilities and expected performance of officers in the Indian Police Service, it is desirable that the introduction of a qualification based on a benchmark disability does not suit their appointment in the Indian Police Service.

“It should be mentioned here that an IPS/DANIPS officer is not recruited for any classified position. Being an all India service, they also work in the state government and central government. When assigned to state government, they are expected to ensure public order, VIP safety, any urgent and untoward situation involving public order, public order or security of the Condition that cannot be compromised at any cost. When working in the Central Government, they are also assigned to the Intelligence Bureau (IB), Research and Analysis Wing (RAW), National Investigation Agency (NIA), National Force Disaster Relief, CAPF, etc., and must lead the whole force. front. »

Thus, the Center argued, “given the difficult nature of the tasks to be performed by them, there is no other option but to grant an exemption to the IPS/DANIPS/IRPFS as a whole from the recruitment of candidates with disabilities in the government establishment.”

He also said that “After joining the Indian Police Service and from the time of probation, the emphasis is on gaining and developing physical strengths and maintaining a high standard of physical fitness and of well-being in order to nourish an acuteness of mind. and body to deal with the challenges they face from day one in service. Therefore, the strenuous training in outdoor compulsory subjects as devised by SVPNPA, Hyderabad, after a comprehensive Training Needs Analysis (TNA) which is carried out in two phases, is geared towards achieving this goal”.

The government also stated that the training module at SVPNPA “has been designed in such a way that all technical missions related to national security can be carried out by a required IPS officer assignment, the training module is generic and functional and cannot be based on choosing and choosing the methodology. Any compromise with the training module will definitely endanger national security”.

The affidavit stated that since the IPS is a technical service, not all UPSC-qualified applicants “cannot be treated equally because for IPS officers, minimum physical standards must be met, which is not the requirement for non-technical services recruited by UPSC”. .

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